Three things grabbed my attention most at Latta this year.
The first being the genuine sense of camraderie amongst my athletes. I had the privilege to see a connection between the athletes doning the red, black, and white. It was an awesome sight to see. A special shout out to Logan Cerwin for grabbing an AG win on Saturday!
The second would be how to deal with 'flatness', which can create negative self talk. Isn't it interesting how there seems to be more attention drawn to 'positive' self talk, but rarely the opposite. I knew that this would not be stellar day when I saw the pack of 4 or 5 cyclists gradually pull away from me and fade into the distance. It was at that moment that I had to avoid putting on 'pouty pants', ride my race, and try to stay in the fight. 300 watts was all I could hold and I had to be happy with it. Perry, Woodbury, Forsyth, Haycraft, and Selle raced exceptionally well!
The third was how cool it was to see first timers "toe the line". We have all been there before. Some roll with the MTB, some with a hybrid of some sort, and others will fork out the dough for a legit ride. What I had the privilege to see on Sunday brought me back to how I once approached these events. I remember packing everything I could imagine into a duffle bag that could easily hold my 4 year old son. I remember borrowing a pan from Mom that was large enough to fit two 10 lb turkey breasts (to wash my feet in T1 and probably T2). I remember bringing a towel large enough to cover two of me (to dry my feet). I remember riding my Mongoose Rockadile (for three full seasons) with knobby tires, then slicks, then clip on aerobars. I remember carrying enough PowerBars and Gatorade at the Triangle Triathlon to fuel for Ultraman. This could go on and on. My point is simple. It is refreshing to see that some still represent like I once did. On that particular day I could see the culmination of desire, fear, excitement, cluelessness, and the will to take on a challenge living in hundreds of newbie triathletes. It was an awesome sight to be seen. It was a fresh reminder to me to keep the sport fun.
Enjoy the process friends,